Re: serious

From: Howard J. Van Till <>
Date: Thu Jan 08 2004 - 09:16:30 EST

From: wallyshoes <>

> WOW!
> I truly shake in my boots at this proclamation! . Lord help me if I have
> to "fear" a book by Howard Van Till -- or anyone else on this list.
> I have read some of Howard's writings and he strikes me as completely
> naive with respect to any REAL science (i.e. physics).
> How much should I tremble?


1. Oops, your hostility is showing.

2. I have no expectation or desire that you experience fear of anything that
I write. Yes, as a general rule I do express myself very candidly, and I
also believe that a number of beliefs and presuppositions that are commonly
held in the Christian community need to be thoroughly re-examined. But
neither of those practices should instill fear in anyone except those
persons who are devoted to the perpetuation of unexamined traditions (and I
presume that you have no wish to be counted as one of those).

3. Am I, as you suggest, "completely naive with respect to any REAL science
(i.e. physics)."? I suppose that's possible, but in light of both my
training and my career, not very likely. Here's a brief bio that is often
used to inform my audiences when I lecture.


Howard J. Van Till is Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy at Calvin
College, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. After graduating from
Calvin College in 1960, he earned his Ph.D. in physics from Michigan State
University in 1965. Dr. Van Till's research experience includes both solid
state physics and millimeter-wave astronomy. During the past two decades he
has devoted a considerable portion of his writing and speaking efforts to
topics regarding the relationship of science and religion. Having concluded
that the usual creation/evolution debate is the product of serious
misunderstandings, Van Till's goal is to encourage a non-adversarial and
mutually-informative engagement of Christian theology and the natural
sciences. He is the author of numerous books, book chapters, and essays on
this theme and has spoken at many universities and colleges. He is a
Founding Member of the International Society for Science and Religion, has
served on the Executive Council of the American Scientific Affiliation, and
is a member of the Editorial Board of Science and Christian Belief.


By the way, if you intended to say or imply that physics is the only REAL
science, I heartily disagree. The several disciplines that comprise the
natural sciences are equally "real" science. These disciplines may differ
somewhat in their styles of empirical investigation and theory
formulation/evaluation, but that does not make any one of them any less real
than the others. I would suggest that most of these stylistic differences
arise from differences in the complexity and/or physical accessibility of
the systems under scrutiny and differences in the historical development of
the several professional communities involved.

Howard Van Till
Received on Thu Jan 8 09:18:18 2004

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